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WATCH: CCTV footage captures the incredible moment this quick-thinking Mercedes driver gets away from armed hijackers in Joburg

2018-08-18 10:00

Robin Classen, Janine Van der Post

Image: YouTube

CCTV and dashcam footage captures the moment a driver is confronted by hijackers at gun-point in Johannesburg.

Footage shows the driver of a sliver Mercedes pulling into a parking lot, followed by a white Audi A4. Two hijackers then emerge from the Audi, run up to the Mercedes, and can be seen signalling the woman driver to get out of the vehicle.

Hijacking in SA: How thieves choose their victims, cars

Incredibly, the woman in the Mercedes puts the car into reverse and attempts to flee the hijackers. The driver can be seen smashing her way past the Audi blocking the entrance.

Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck said: "The driver was very fortunate but this is not what the experts on hijacking would recommend. We cannot predict whether an armed hijacker would discharge his firearm or not, wounding or killing the driver. Guidance in such a situation would be to remain calm and rather relinquish the vehicle while protecting your own life."

We've included advice from Arrive Alive and Pro-ActiveSA at the end of this article.

Check out the video of the incident below :


Dashcam footage from the Mercedes:

Hijacking - safety tips by Arrive Alive

Wheels24 had the opportunity to speak to Tiaan Coetzer, husband of the woman behind the wheel during the incident. We asked him a few questions about those frightening moments.

Wheels24: What was going through your mind at that exact moment?

Tiaan: My wife was driving the car and when she saw these guys knocking on the window with guns in their hands, she froze. I stared them down for a few seconds and told my wife to focus on me and what I was about to tell her.

W24: Was your actions instinctive?

Tiaan: At that point we thought they would bash the windows in and get to us. It took my wife approximately 6 seconds to get the car into reverse, with them still pointing their guns at us. We drove towards the entrance where their Audi was parked and smashed into the left side of it and through the entrance in getting away.

W24: What happened thereafter, regarding the hijackers?

Tiaan: With the help of police we managed to get the details about the car in particular. We found out that the car they were using was in fact a clone of an exact model driving around the area. It had the same rims, plates and tinted windows as one in the area.

W24: Why did you share the video?

Tiaan: I shared the video on social media to make other people aware of what to do in such a situation. I also want them to know that you can use the car to your advantage in such a situation. These guys were professionals and knew what they were doing, fortunately for us they never fired any gunshots and no one was injured.

Tips to avoid being hijacked

Arrive Alive lists the following crucial tips on avoiding being hijacked when approaching and entering your driveway.

1. 2km from your house strategy - Be extra alert. Switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings.
2. Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you.
3. Check your driveway and street before you leave or enter your premises.
4. Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery where perpetrators can hide.
5. Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to your residential address - do not turn into your driveway - pass and go back later.
6. Liaise with your neighbours - know them.
7. Be aware of vehicles parked close to your address with occupants inside. It might be perpetrators observing the area.
8. Be alert if your animals do not greet you at the gate as usual. It might be that the perpetrators over-powered them.
9. Phone your home and ask for someone to make sure your driveway is safe and to open and close the gate for you.
10. When returning home after dark, ensure that an outside light is on, or have someone meet you at the gate. Check with your armed response company if they are rendering rendezvous services.
  11. If at any time you have to open the gate yourself, make sure nobody suspicious around and the road is clear. Stop right in front of your gate. Do not switch off the vehicle, leave the key in the ignition, get out and close the door (not creating temptation). Then open the gate. Drive in and close the gate immediately behind you.

Ryno Schutte, MD of Pro-Active SA shares the following tips in the unfortunate event of a hijacking:

1. At no given time resist the attacker or suspects.
2. Keep your hands visible at all times as the suspects are as nervous as you are.
3. Be submissive and listen to the suspects’ instructions.
4. Do not resist once you have exited the vehicle.
5. Place your child that is in a baby seat behind you to remove the child with ease. Indicate to the suspect that you have a child in the backseat and remove the child by shielding him / her as much as possible.
6. Remain calm and try to identify any useful information about the hijackers without staring at them:
 • Take note of the Language the suspects speak
 • Count the number of voices.
 • Listen to the information the suspects share amongst themselves and possibly via cellphone.
 • Estimate the height of the suspects by comparing it to your own height.
 • Identify any clothing, markings and shoes of the suspects. Some suspects change their clothes but not their shoes.
7. Create time and space as quickly as possible between yourself and the threat.

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